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Expectations High for Tribe Boys Basketball
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Correspondent
2015-12-02

Upper Perk sophomore Ryan Kendra fights for a rebound during a scrimmage against Christopher Dock last week. Kendra will see time at shooting guard or small forward. 

        Although Upper Perkiomen's varsity basketball team has faced a couple hard years on the court – earning just two victories last year – senior forward Christian Zera expects his final season to be far more enjoyable for the Indians on the scoreboard and overall. 

        "This season should be a whole lot better than the previous ones," he said.

        According to head coach Jared Krupp, the team has made significant offensive strides already this season, and those improvements were apparent in a scrimmage with visiting Christopher Dock on Nov. 24.

        Although Upper Perkiomen lost the scrimmage by 7 points, the team kept the game close the entire time. "We hung with (Christopher Dock) every quarter," Krupp said. "At no point were we severely out-played or out-rebounded or out-hustled."

        A trio of sophomores – Ryan Kendra, Liam Boyle and Tyler Whary – led the Indians in the scrimmage and will join Zera and fellow senior Ryan Sitko in the starting lineup for the season opener at the Southern Lehigh Tipoff Tournament Dec. 4.

        The sophomore trio should have a significant impact on the team, according to Krupp. At 6'2," Kendra will see time at shooting guard or small forward. Krupp said Kendra is a natural athlete who can play with his back to the basket or hit a jump shot.

        "Ryan's game is so versatile," the coach said, adding that Kendra scored a team-high 10.8 points as a freshman. "He's such a natural athlete. The sky is the limit with him.

        "It will be neat to see how Ryan measures up. He can play with any of the other sophomores or juniors in the conference."

        Boyle, who will play at point guard, is comfortable running the offense, according to Zera.  "Liam has really taken control," he said.

        Whary, an undersized power forward at 6' tall, "knows how to go for a rebound," Zera said. "He's very athletic, very muscular."

        Dylan Croissette, a senior forward, and junior Zeke Hallman should also receive significant playing time, according to Krupp.

        "Youth is a big part of this team," Krupp said. "It's exciting to see them play together. They play with such a high level of energy. You're going to see much more talent and a much more unselfish, disciplined style."

        According to the coach, the Indians have closed the PAC-10 gap in terms of athleticism and quickness. Krupp said the coaching staff has implemented a more purposeful approach in practice.  "If we leave the gym as a better team than we walked in, I consider that a success," he said. "Our goal is to improve."

        As a result, scoring should be less of an issue this season, according to the coach. He said the team worked diligently over the summer to improve its spacing at the offensive end and learn how to take shots within the flow.

        "Looking at the video from the scrimmage, we could not find a shot that was forced or taken out of rhythm," Krupp said.

        While Krupp and Zera stopped short of offering any predictions for the 2015-16 Pioneer Athletic Conference, Zera is optimistic for the season. Upper Perkiomen can beat anyone in the conference, he said, "so long as it plays the right way." 


 

 

 

 

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